Long Term Effects Of Having Domestic Violence Charges On A Criminal Record
A domestic violence conviction will go on in one’s permanent criminal record and will surface anytime there is a background check run. This can make it difficult to gain employment, get state licensing and other benefits. Such a conviction will also prevent one from owning any firearms. It could also have dire effects on those who are not citizens of the United States, and it could eventually lead to their deportation or not allow them to be naturalized in the future.
Many people who are accused of domestic violence don’t fully realize how serious the legal punishments can be or how it can affect their lives in other ways. In California, most domestic violence charges fall into two categories:
Misdemeanor Offense: In the majority of cases, domestic violence charges in California are classified as misdemeanors under Penal Code Section 243(e)(1), specifically categorized as domestic battery. These charges stem from incidents involving physical altercations or conflicts with an intimate partner, spouse, cohabitant, or the parent of one’s child.
Felony Offense: However, in some instances, domestic violence allegations can escalate to more serious felony charges, as outlined in Penal Code Section 273.5, known as corporal injury to a spouse. The determination of felony charges is typically based on the severity of injuries sustained by the victim.
Misdemeanor Offense and Long-Term Consequences:
In California, most domestic violence charges are initially categorized as misdemeanors, primarily falling under Penal Code Section 243(e)(1) and referred to as domestic battery. These charges typically arise from incidents involving physical altercations or conflicts with intimate partners, spouses, cohabitants, or the parents of one’s child. While they may be categorized as misdemeanors, it’s essential to understand the long-term consequences these charges can carry:
Permanent Criminal Record: A domestic violence conviction, even as a misdemeanor, results in a permanent mark on one’s criminal record. This record can be accessed during background checks, impacting various aspects of life.
Employment Challenges: Having a domestic violence conviction on your record can make it challenging to secure employment. Many employers conduct background checks, and a violent conviction may deter potential employers.
State Licensing and Benefits: Some professions require state licenses, and domestic violence convictions can lead to disqualification from obtaining or maintaining these licenses. It can also affect eligibility for certain benefits and programs.
Firearms Ownership Restrictions: Convictions, even for misdemeanor domestic violence, prohibit individuals from owning or possessing firearms under federal and state laws. This restriction can affect career choices, particularly those involving firearms.
Immigration Consequences: For non-U.S. citizens, a domestic violence conviction can have severe immigration consequences. It may result in deportation, affect immigration status, or hinder the possibility of naturalization in the future.
Housing and Community Stigma: Securing housing can become difficult with a domestic violence conviction on your record. Landlords often conduct background checks, and a violent criminal record may lead to rental denials. Additionally, individuals with such convictions may face social stigma within their communities.
Felony Offense and Its Long-Term Impact:
In contrast, some domestic violence allegations can escalate to more severe felony charges, particularly as outlined in Penal Code Section 273.5, known as corporal injury to a spouse. The decision to categorize the charges as felonies usually hinges on the severity of injuries sustained by the victim. Understanding the long-term effects of such felony charges is equally crucial:
Felony Conviction: A conviction for a felony domestic violence offense results in a more serious criminal record. This can have even more substantial implications for future opportunities and personal relationships.
Enhanced Penalties: Felony convictions often come with harsher penalties, including longer probation terms, more significant fines, and the potential for imprisonment.
Child Custody and Visitation Issues: Felony domestic violence charges can significantly impact child custody arrangements and visitation rights, potentially leading to restrictions or supervised visitation.
Greater Immigration Consequences: For non-U.S. citizens, felony convictions can carry more severe immigration consequences, potentially making deportation more likely and naturalization more challenging.
Heightened Stigma: Felony convictions can intensify social stigma, affecting how individuals are perceived in their communities and personal relationships.
Can Domestic Violence Charges Be Expunged Or Sealed In California?
Expungement is a misleading term and in California, the Penal Code and the statutes don’t use it anymore. However, if it’s a misdemeanor or felony and all the terms of probation have been satisfied and probation is over, then one can petition for a dismissal of the charge. This is also referred to as an “expungement”. However, if it’s a felony AND that person has stepped foot inside a state prison, then the case cannot be expunged.
A domestic violence charge can be expunged, but cannot be sealed. The only domestic violence case that could be sealed would be a juvenile case. Juvenile cases stand out because, in some situations, if a young person reforms and stays out of trouble, their entire record can be hidden and erased. When it’s an adult case, it’s difficult to completely hide and erase the record.
What Are Some Potential Defenses In A Domestic Violence Case?
The most commonly used defense is actually self-defense. In most cases, the police will arrive and will arrest someone. When the investigation is done, it’s determined the person who was arrested was actually defending themselves. He or she was attacked first. That is the basic defense to domestic violence especially one involving injuries and/or physical abuse.
Self-defense is actually a very good defense and it works more often than people think. However, each case is different and the defense in each case should be based according to the best outcome possible. Therefore, in some cases, self-defense might not be a defense one wants to bring up.
The Importance Of Retaining An Experienced Family Law Attorney For A Domestic Violence Case
Domestic violence cases are very sensitive because they often involve family members or wives, spouses, husband, former husbands or wives and in most cases, children. If someone does not have an attorney experienced in handling these types of cases, their case could actually end up hurting them much more than it should.
Unique Attributes Of Attorney Arash Hashemi In Handling Domestic Violence Cases
Attorney Hashemi has handled domestic violence cases, including those with underlying criminal charges since 2003. He has also represented both those who are being accused of domestic violence and those who want to obtain a protective order because they are victim of domestic violence. This gives him an advantage because he can look at each case from both points of view. Attorney Hashemi has been on each side of the case and knows what strategies and defenses are used both in defending and prosecuting these cases.
For more information on Long Term Effects Of Domestic Violence Charges, a free initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (310) 448-1529 or contact us online and get the information and legal answers you’re seeking. Our office is conveniently located in the Westside Towers in Los Angeles, within minutes of Santa Monica, Beverly Hills, Westwood, and steps away from the Expo/Bundy Station. We have flexible hours and weekend appointments, and we will visit you in jail to discuss your case.